Dog owners urged to follow Covid-19 advice

Wednesday March 25th 2020


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Local MSP Christine Grahame has encouraged dog owners to take heed of SSPCA advice on caring for them during the Covid-19 outbreak. The charity is advising owners who are self-isolating (without symptoms) to walk their dog under proper control once a day, following social distancing guidelines. It is advising those who are symptomatic that they should ask a friend or relative to care for their dog during their treatment period, ensuring any handover follows social distancing rules.

Currently the government advice allows owners to walk their dogs once a day, taking sensible precautions.

The SSPCA has confirmed that, whilst its workers are not classed as key workers, they are able to still attend cases where there is serious concern for animal welfare under current guidance.

Commenting Ms Grahame said:

“I understand these strange times present a particular set of challenges for pet owners. I’d encourage them to properly think now about what they will do if they become unable to exercise their animal due to covid-19, and given that commercial dog walkers are not classified as essential businesses.

“It is worth discussing care of your animal with a friend or family member – would they be able to take your dog for a couple of weeks if you became unwell? I understand the idea of parting with a pet, even temporarily, can be upsetting but it is the best way of ensuring your dog continues to be happy and healthy.

“If you do not have a garden, and one walk a day will certainly not be enough for the dog, see if a neighbour or family member can walk the dog when they exercise themselves or provide a space for it to exercise bearing in mind the 2 metre rule

“In the interim please take proper precautions when walking your dog – once a day, stick to quiet areas, keep 2m (6ft) from other people and ensure you’re washing your hands as soon as you return home. People with any particular concerns on this can check out SSPCA guidance at”

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